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Leopold and Bach The Kothen Period Prince Leopold von Anhalt-Kothen survives in most portraits as a sweet somewhat decadent Mona Lisa He has chubby cheeks pursed lips and happy inquisitive eyes His wig is full and powdered an exquisite white he wears a full set of armor with a neck sash and hair ribbon he is never seen as being old only vibrant and young Leopold died at an early age but is immortalized through his famous connectionsbr To Johann Sebastion Bach Leopold was dearly loved They met at the wedding of Leopolds sister She was marrying the bitter rival of Bachs employer Leopold was so impressed with Bachs wedding music he offered to him the position of Kappelmeister in Kothen Bachs former employer Wilhelm Ernst forbade him to work with the brother-in-law of his rival Bach was arrested and imprisoned in Weimar for a month before being dismissed without honor He quickly shuffled of to Kothen with his familybr Bach started his new job in December of 1717 He had a lot of freedom there Leopold having taken over the government from his mother two years earlier was barely pushing 23 and raring to show off his new musical toys and friends Kothen had an active Calvinistic and Lutheran court as well as a former ruler that still held considerable power But neither Calvinism nor Mama could prevent Leopold from spending almost a quarter of the total revenue of the princedom on his greatest hobby the band The prince had hand- picked all his expensive musicians from Berlin With the addition of J S Bach as Kappelmeister the band could now really pack some punchbr The prince was a musician himself playing the violin the viola da gamba and the clavier He loved to join the band as a sophisticated Karaoke player They would practice all the time and were reportedly asked to leave the palace by Leopolds mother No problem they practiced
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